North Sound (Antigua and Barbuda), April 18 (AFP): James Anderson became England�s leading wicket-taker in Test history but celebration of the historic milestone could not be complemented by a team triumph as the West Indies hung on for a draw on the final day of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
Jason Holder played the innings of his young cricketing life to take the home side to safety with three wickets in hand at 350 for seven yesterday after they were set the improbable target of 438.
His maiden Test hundred of 103 not out, which spanned almost four hours during which he faced 149 deliveries and struck 15 fours, rescued the Caribbean team from what appeared to be a hopeless position when they slipped to 189 for six early in the afternoon session.
It was at that point, after first innings centurion Jermaine Blackwood added to the litany of dismissals via irresponsible shots from the top-order, that Holder came to the crease. His calm, controlled batting was the perfect foil to Denesh Ramdin�s growing defiance, the pair putting on 105 runs for the seventh wicket when Anderson broke the record and gave his team one last chance to push for victory heading into the final hour of the match.
�It was just a matter of staying out there and basically having a knock,� said Holder, who was chosen as man of the match.
�The word we�ve been using as motivation in our dressing room is �belief.� That belief made us all feel that the match could be saved, even with the bad start we had at the end of the day.�
Having drawn level with the record tally of 383 wickets by former all-rounder Sir Ian Botham when he dismissed Marlon Samuels in the morning, Anderson returned with the second new ball and finally separated Ramdin and Holder, inducing an indeterminate defensive prod from Ramdin to have the West Indies captain caught for 57 by his England counterpart, Alastair Cook, at first slip.
Anderson greeted the historic moment with a combination of celebration and relief at claiming the coveted record in his 100th Test, although England�s focus reverted swiftly to getting back to the business of claiming the last three wickets.
�My immediate emotion was that we had gotten back into a winning position by opening up one end,� was the record-breaking bowler�s immediate reflection on the moment after play. �We tried our hearts out but there just wasn�t anything in that pitch to give us any assistance today.�
England 1st Innings: 399
West Indies 1st Innings: 295
England 2nd Innings: 333 for 7 decl
West Indies 2nd Innings: K Brathwaite c Root b Broad 5, D Smith c Ballance b Tredwell 65, D Bravo c Jordan b Root 32, M Samuels c Tredwell b Anderson 23, S Chanderpaul lbw Root 13, J Blackwood c Buttler b Jordan 31, D Ramdin c Cook b Anderson 57, J Holder not out 103, K Roach not out 15. Extras: (b-2, lb-2, nb-2) 6. Total: (For 7 wickets in 129.4 overs) 350. Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-90, 3-119, 4-127, 5-155, 6-189, 7-294. Bowling: Anderson 24.4-3-72-2, Broad 21-5-61-1, Tredwell 40-14-93-1, Jordan 18-6-48-1, Stokes 13-0-50-0, Root 13-6-22-2.